ST. CLOUD -- The first ever TEDxStCloud event is happening Thursday night, and a local St. John's University student is helping get it done.

The x in TEDx indicates it is an independently organized event and not a part of the official TED brand.

Sam LaBine is one of two primary organizers for the TEDxStCloud event. The senior says he hopes to get people talking about how to help, without diving into politics.

"Get people to share an idea without being judged, or with a political context. It's just about what do you see in the world and how do you think you'd make it better, and how can you inspire others in the community."


He says another part of his motivation in working on this is in part to bring a larger city feeling to St. Cloud.

"When people think of larger cities they think of being able to go to events like this, and we'd like to give them a little taste of that here."


LaBine grew up in St. Cloud and wants to "make it a better place", he hopes events like this will help him in that goal. He grew up in St. Cloud, is a 2014 graduate of Cathedral High School, and will graduate this May from St. John's with a degree in accounting.

TEDx has four speakers lined up; Realtor David Vee, competitive athlete Kari Turkowski, teacher Ayan Omar, and Sally Zimney. LaBine's co-organizer for the event is Brian Hart of Sandler Training.

The event for Thursday is sold out, however, LaBine says he hopes to make this happen again next year.